Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District elections, 2012

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Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
August 14, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
John Kline Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
John Kline Republican Party
John Kline.jpg

Minnesota U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Minnesota.png
The 2nd congressional district of Minnesota held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Incumbent

John Kline won re-election on November 6, 2012.[1]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
June 5, 2012
August 14, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Minnesota has an open primary system, meaning any registered voter can vote in any party's primary.

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by July 24. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 16. Voters could also register at the polls on Election Day, provided they brought requisite proof of residency.[2]

See also: Minnesota elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was John Kline (R), who assumed office in 2003.

This was the first election which used new district maps based on 2010 Census data. Minnesota's 2nd congressional district covers the south Twin Cities metro area and includes Carver, Scott, Le Sueur, Goodhue and Rice counties.[3]

This is the 2nd congressional district prior to the 2010 redistricting.


Note: Election results were added on election night as races were called. Vote totals were added after official election results had been certified. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you find any errors in this list, please email: Geoff Pallay.

General election candidates

Democratic Party Mike Obermueller
Republican Party John KlineGreen check mark transparent.png

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Note: Dan Powers expressed an interest in running but did not file.[5]

Republican Party Republican Primary

Election results

U.S. House, Minnesota District 2 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Kline Incumbent 54% 193,587
     Democratic Mike Obermueller 45.8% 164,338
     NA Write-in 0.1% 521
Total Votes 358,446
Source: Minnesota Secretary of State, "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election" (dead link)

Race background

Minnesota's 2nd was considered to be Leaning Republican according to the New York Times race ratings. John Kline defeated former state representative Mike Obermueller (D) in the general election in a district that became more Democratic due to redistricting.[7]

Minnesota's 2nd District was included in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue List," which identified districts that the organization specifically targeted to flip from Republican to Democratic control.[8]

Impact of Redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Minnesota

According to the Washington Post, redistricting transformed the 2nd district from a safe seat into a swing district. While the 2nd formerly went safely for Republican John Kline, the newly drawn district was a battleground for Republicans and Democrats fighting for control of the House. Democratic leaders slated Mike Obermueller as their "Red to Blue" program candidate.[9]

Given the new district maps, Democrats in the state said they had better odds of defeating incumbent John Kline (R), who won his last election by a 30 percent margin. Democrats hoped that Kline's south suburban and rural district, which includes a southeastern swath of Minnesota from Dakota County to Wabasha County and over to Scott and Rice counties, could turn in their favor. [4]

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. Minnesota's 2nd District became less Republican because of redistricting.[10]

  • 2012: 48D / 52R
  • 2010: 45D / 55R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measures each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. Minnesota's 2nd congressional district has a PVI of R+2, which is the 223rd most Republican district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 51-49 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 52-48 percent over John Kerry (D).[11]

District History


On November 2, 2010, Kline won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Shelley Madore (D) in the general election.[12]

U.S. House of Representatives, Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Kline Incumbent 63.3% 181,341
     Democratic Shelley Moore 36.6% 104,809
     Independent Write-In 0.1% 303
Total Votes 286,453

Campaign donor

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 elections season. Below are Obermueller and Kline's reports.

Mike Obermueller

Mike Obermueller (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[13]March 31, 2012$0.00$253,102.21$(38,933.24)$214,168.97
July Quarterly[14]July 15, 2012$0.00$253,102.21$(38,933.24)$214,168.97
October Quarterly[15]October 15, 2012$227,283.$276,547.76$(133,610.45)$370,220.44
Pre-General[16]October 25, 2012$370,220.44$79,024.02$(318,714.82)$130,529.64
Running totals

John Kline

John Kline (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[17]March 31, 2012$873,102.45$276,891.9$(89,819.57)$1,060,174.78
July Quarterly[18]June 30, 2012$1,060,174.78$428,280.24$(151,230.08)$1,337,224.94
October Quarterly[19]October 15, 2012$1,355,572.61$286,501.38$(272,466.92)$1,369,607.07
Pre-General[20]October 25, 2012$1,369,607.07$75,539.02$(306,474.09)$1,138,672
Running totals

See also

External links


  1. ABC News, "General Election Results 2012-Minnesota," November 7, 2012
  2. Minnesota Secretary of State "Registering to Vote," Accessed July 25, 2012
  3. Minnesota Redistricting Map "Map" Accessed August 30, 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 Star Tribune "DFL has set its sights on Rep. John Kline's seat" April 6, 2012
  5. Secretary of State "2012 Election Filings" June 5, 2012
  6. CBS Minnesota "2012 Primary Results" August 14, 2012
  7. New York Times "House Race Ratings," Accessed August 10, 2012
  8. DCCC, "Red to Blue 2012"
  9. Washington Post blog "The 10 House districts that might surprise you," May 11, 2012
  10. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Minnesota," September 2012
  11. Cook Political Report "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" Accessed October 2012
  12. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010" Accessed December 3, 2011
  13. Federal Election Commission "April Quarterly," Accessed August 1, 2012
  14. Federal Election Commission "July Quarterly," Accessed October 1, 2012
  15. Federal Election Commission "October Quarterly," Accessed October 31, 2012
  16. Federal Election Commission "Pre-General," Accessed November 6, 2012
  17. Federal Election Commission "April Quarterly," Accessed August 1, 2012
  18. Federal Election Commission "July Quarterly," Accessed August 1, 2012
  19. Federal Election Commission "October Quarterly," Accessed November 1, 2012
  20. Federal Election Commission "Pre-General," Accessed November 6, 2012